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Logo of microrevMicrobiol Mol Biol Rev ArchivePermissionsJournals.ASM.orgMMBR ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
Microbiol Rev. Jun 1993; 57(2): 320–346.
PMCID: PMC372912

Structural, functional, and evolutionary relationships among extracellular solute-binding receptors of bacteria.


Extracellular solute-binding proteins of bacteria serve as chemoreceptors, recognition constituents of transport systems, and initiators of signal transduction pathways. Over 50 sequenced periplasmic solute-binding proteins of gram-negative bacteria and homologous extracytoplasmic lipoproteins of gram-positive bacteria have been analyzed for sequence similarities, and their degrees of relatedness have been determined. Some of these proteins are homologous to cytoplasmic transcriptional regulatory proteins of bacteria; however, with the sole exception of the vitamin B12-binding protein of Escherichia coli, which is homologous to human glutathione peroxidase, they are not demonstrably homologous to any of the several thousand sequenced eukaryotic proteins. Most of these proteins fall into eight distinct clusters as follows. Cluster 1 solute-binding proteins are specific for malto-oligosaccharides, multiple oligosaccharides, glycerol 3-phosphate, and iron. Cluster 2 proteins are specific for galactose, ribose, arabinose, and multiple monosaccharides, and they are homologous to a number of transcriptional regulatory proteins including the lactose, galactose, and fructose repressors of E. coli. Cluster 3 proteins are specific for histidine, lysine-arginine-ornithine, glutamine, octopine, nopaline, and basic amino acids. Cluster 4 proteins are specific for leucine and leucine-isoleucine-valine, and they are homologous to the aliphatic amidase transcriptional repressor, AmiC, of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Cluster 5 proteins are specific for dipeptides and oligopeptides as well as nickel. Cluster 6 proteins are specific for sulfate, thiosulfate, and possibly phosphate. Cluster 7 proteins are specific for dicarboxylates and tricarboxylates, but these two proteins exhibit insufficient sequence similarity to establish homology. Finally, cluster 8 proteins are specific for iron complexes and possibly vitamin B12. Members of each cluster of binding proteins exhibit greater sequence conservation in their N-terminal domains than in their C-terminal domains. Signature sequences for these eight protein families are presented. The results reveal that binding proteins specific for the same solute from different bacteria are generally more closely related to each other than are binding proteins specific for different solutes from the same organism, although exceptions exist. They also suggest that a requirement for high-affinity solute binding imposes severe structural constraints on a protein. The occurrence of two distinct classes of bacterial cytoplasmic repressor proteins which are homologous to two different clusters of periplasmic binding proteins suggests that the gene-splicing events which allowed functional conversion of these proteins with retention of domain structure have occurred repeatedly during evolutionary history.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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